SGI Significant Dates
The Establishment of Nichiren Buddhism
Soka Gakkai Day
Celebrating the History of Soka Gakkai's Antinuclear Movement
SGI World Peace Day
Inscription of the Dai-Gohonzon
Soka Gakkai Founding Day
March 16 - Kosen-rufu Day
March 16, otherwise known as Kosen-rufu Day, is a symbolic day for Soka Gakkai and SGI members. March is traditionally a month commemorated with renewed growth and an occasion for fostering capable youth. SGI members around the world celebrate this day by holding commemorative meetings led by youth successors. This significant day is of extreme importance for genuine disciples who uphold the vow for kosen-rufu in the essential phase. Its profound meaning can be grasped by going back to the pivotal point in its history.
The weather was fine on March 16, 1958. 6000 of Toda Sensei's proud young disciples had gathered joyfully in the courtyard in front of the Grand Lecture Hall at the Head Temple. Burning with faith, conviction and passion, they gazed up at Mount Fuji shining under a blanket of snow.
A lively buzz filled the air, like a new wave rising from the depths of the sea, everyone was excited and brimming with life.
Their sights on the future, these young heroes had stood up like true seekers of the Way, like the champions of truth that they were.
[Kosen-Rufu Our Mission, A Collection of Essays by Daisaku Ikeda, Volume 2]
These vivid and invigorating excerpts recorded by President Ikeda depicts the vitality of the youths present at the timeless ceremony in 1958 where President Toda entrusted them with the mission to achieve kosen-rufu. President Toda called this planned youth meeting “a dress rehearsal for Kosen-rufu”. It was during this time that President Toda (who was already frail in health and passed away on 2nd April 1958) took a backseat and allow the youth take the stage. President Toda's lifelong wish was to foster true champions of kosen-rufu – genuine disciples who will rise to action following the example set by their mentor.
As his direct disciple, President Ikeda had gone through all kinds of slander and abuse, faced hatred and jealousy, and battled the three powerful enemies of Buddhism. However, he remained unperturbed by these obstacles and successfully built a network dedicated to the promotion of peace, culture and education. By taking President Toda's words to heart and completely united with him in spirit, President Ikeda soared into the world to fulfill this great mission of worldwide propagation of the Law, and SGI has now spread to 192 countries and territories.
President Ikeda has set exemplary examples for his disciples by achieving absolute victory based on the oneness of mentor and disciple. Now, with the deliberate action of President Ikeda to stop attending meetings since 3rd May 2010, this historical landmark of March 16 has became of paramount relevance to his true disciples in this essential phase of kosen-rufu. Drawing parallel from the March 16 event, President Ikeda must have chosen May 3rd, 2010 as it marks the 50th anniversary of his inauguration as third Soka Gakkai President to create this “dress rehearsal for kosen-rufu” for his direct disciples! Now is the disciples' turn to take the stage, to emulate the mentor's noble way of life by renewing their great vow to dedicate their lives to kosen-rufu starting from this very moment.
In SGI President Ikeda's study lecture series, Learning from the Gosho – The Hope-filled Writing of Nichiren Daishonin, President Ikeda wrote:
We have now entered an age when Bodhisattvas of the Earth awakened to the Daishonin’s Buddhism are standing up all over the world and striving for kosen-rufu with solid unity of purpose. Our movement constitutes an alliance of Bodhisattvas of the Earth who share the same great vow. The young people who will shoulder the second act of kosen-rufu have stood up in communities everywhere. I entrust everything to you! The future is in your hands!
Also from the same lecture series, President Ikeda wrote:
..to continue reaching out in dialogue to the person right in front of us and conveying through our spirit and lives the greatness of the Mystic Law, which is the key to genuine happiness – that is the way to truly fulfilled the great vow of kosen-rufu.
It is taught in the Lotus Sutra that kosen-rufu is the loftiest undertaking of all, as it will open wide the way to peace and happiness for all humankind. However, because this is such an infinitely noble endeavor, it will also be subjected to unprecedented persecution by the three powerful enemies. In SGI President Ikeda's essay, The Light of the Century of Humanity, he called out to the youth:
Lift up your heads! Be proud! Advance with indomitable strength, as if mounted on a fine steed. Never forget to have courageous faith, a burning passion for kosen-rufu, and a spirit of unity. That is the way to win the crown of victory. As long as our treasure of the youth division exists, the Soka Gakkai is certain to flourish forever.
March 16 is a timely reminder for President Ikeda's disciples to be always brimming with life in the course of kosen-rufu, to stand up like true seekers of the way, to be the champions of truth!